As a city Milton Keynes is composed of grid roads, clear signage and easily accessible public pathways, how, therefore, has the collective subconscious of MK been placed onto a well-trodden, designated path? Being a Milton Keynes-based artist Priya Chohan-Padia developed a series of sculptures that formed both boundaries and openings, inspired by landscapes within the city. Chohan-Padia's resultant installation Connected to Ground led the way for intrepid explorers to veer off this path and navigate Milton Keynes with a renewed sense of curiosity.
Working specifically with found and repurposed materials to connect and weave together cooper structure(s) the multiple narratives of materials and their significance were presented and interrogated. Chohan-Padia worked with copper; a conduit for the flow of water and power to our homes, usually hidden from show. Acknowledging the inner workings of the city, copper was brought to the fore, providing a tangible connection between our internal and external spaces.
Priya is fine artist and educator, working across painting and sculpture.
Through my practice, I have been exploring the potential of materials and the physicality of colour. When making my work, I am playful and observe dialogues between my work and the space I’m in. I will be studying a MA in Landscape Architecture, within the context of examining ecological and environmental issues.
I have been living in Milton Keynes for 2 1/2 years - a space that had been designed as a idealistic city, as an interesting space to observe and navigate. The grid network of roads and underpasses means driving around is easy but I find it unnervingly hard to orientate myself through landmarks. Whilst there are masses of green spaces and bike routes which enable safe passage across the city, I search for the beauty of chance and connections.
The grid as an idea in painting has always intrigued me. Breaking down the canvas into its constructs has often interested me more than the image on it. Now I am living in a grid, it is comforting and familiar. It is my nest. But I still search for space to break outside of it.
Connected to Ground was supported by Milton Keynes Community Foundation. Priya and Tracing the Pathway would like to also thank Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre and Jesal Chohan-Padia.